Char Dham Yatra 2019
One of the most sacred of all Hindu pilgrimages is the Char DhamYatra or the pilgrimage comprising a visit to four shrines. They are Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath in Uttarakhand State. People believe that these shrines were set up by Saint Sri AdiShankracharya sometime in the 8th century. Devotees pay homage at these shrines believing that this will help them achieve salvation or Moksha. They believe that at least in one’s lifetime, they should visit these dhams.
There are two circuits of Char Dham Yatra tour packages:
- The first comprises a tour of Badrinath, Dwarika, Puri and Rameshwaram.
- Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinathor Chota Char Dham
The Chota Char Dham shrines remain closed in winter due to heavy snowfall and reopens in summer.
Opening and closing dates of Char Dham sites: These are the dates of the Char DhamYatra 2019.
Yamunotri Temple – 07 May-27 Oct 2019
Gangotri Temple – 07 May-27 Oct 2019
Kedarnath Temple – 09 May-27 Oct 2019
Badrinath Temple – 10 May-09 Nov 2019
Types of Char Dham Tour Packages:
There are many kinds of Tour Packages for anyone wanting to undertake a tour of Char Dham. The least is to go for two days, which is called Do Dham and the range extends to 10 days. Normally, tour packages begin with Char Dham yatra from Delhi and take in the four dhams. By selecting a good tour operator, you can have a comfortable and economical pilgrimage. If you have seniors with you or if you have little time on hand, a two-day Dhamyatra is conducted by helicopter. This trip covers all four dhams, i.e. Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. You can also choose to go by helicopter or road on a one-day yatra or a two-day yatra. All Char Dhamyatras by helicopter begin at Delhi and Dehradun. These tours can also be customized if you let your travel expert know your specific dates and requirements. Your travel expert will also take care of your food, accommodation, transportation and medical needs during the tour.
A typical 11 nights/12 days Char Dham Yatra package
This trip typically takes you from Delhi to the shrines via Rishikesh. It covers a trek to Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. Pilgrims visit these holy shrines and enjoy the alluring Nature all around while the spiritual ambience surrounded by snow, birds chirping and dense forests beckons the intrepid pilgrim.
Given below is only an indicative itinerary, which can be tailored to your specific needs.
The Char Dham pilgrimage usually begins in Delhi. On day 1, drive to Haridwar and en route have your biometrics done. At Haridwar, visit Har- Ki- Pauriand attend the evening grand Ganga Aarti. On day 2, visit Barkot, a picturesque hill station at the foot of the Yamunotri. About 90 minutes away by road, you will reach Mussoorie. On the way, visit the beautiful Kempty Falls, set amid a green valley. At Barkot, set off for the hill yatra of Yamunotri after breakfast.
On day 3, set off for Hanumanchatti, about 40 km away and JankiChatti, about eight km away. This is the first PahadYatra of Yamunotri, a six-km trek. You can do this trek on horseback, if you wish. Pass through a lush verdant valley with all kinds of flowers and rare Himalayan shrubs. By afternoon, you should reach Yamunotri, at an altitude of 3,291 m. This is the western most of the four shrines. It is nestled in the Banderpunch range, at an altitude of 6,361 m. On arrival, take a holy dip in the River Yamuna and perform holy pooja. Take the same route back to Barkot and prepare yourself for a drive to Uttarkashi, next morning.
On day 4, move towards Uttarkashi, on the banks of River Bhagirathi, is famed for its historical sites, ashrams and temples. Once you reach here, drive down to Gangotri, in the majestic Garhwal Himalayas, at a height of 3048 m. Take a dip in the Ganga or Bhagirathi and visit the 18th century Gangotri Temple. Conclude your pooja in the afternoon and return to Uttarkashi.
On day 5, leave for Guptkashi, 47 km from the pilgrim town of Kedarnath. This town is home to several ancient temples such as the Ardhnareshwar Temple and the Vishwanath Temple. Before your trip to Kedarnath, have a medical check-up done. On day 6, while breakfast done move towards Sitapur and enjoy it’s natural beauty. The whole day is enough for you to see the amazing places there. After that Check in to the hotel here, have dinner and relax overnight.
Day 7 begins with a drive down to Sonprayag. At this point, you begin your trek to Kedarnath or you can hire a horse or doli at an extra cost. At Kedarnath, one of the tributaries of the Ganga, Mandakini originates and here, you hear the chants of “Jai Bholenath” reverberating in the mountain air. The natural beauty of this place is mesmerizing. Arrive at a lodge here and stay overnight.
On day 8, before dawn, have a bath and reach the temple by 4:45 am for the ‘Abhishek’ to Kedarnath Shiva. You can enter the GarbhaGriha and pay your respects to the deity. Return to the lodge and later in the day, set off for a 20 km trek to Sonprayag. On day 9, drive to Badrinath, an important pilgrimage destination. It is situated at a height of 3133 meters. The drive is absolutely magical with mountains on both sides. Go to TaptKund (natural geyser), have a bath there and then proceed to Badrinath Temple for darshan. This Vishnu temple is 15 metres tall and is built in a conical shape.
Day 10 begins with a darshan at Badrinath Temple followed by local sightseeing, such as Ganesh Gufa, Vyas Gufa, Mana Village and Mata Murti temple. Later in the day, proceed towards Rudraprayag, known both for its religious importance and for its stunning natural beauty. On day 11, after breakfast, take an early morning start to Rishikesh and on reaching there; visit its sights such as Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula. In the evening drive to Haridwar. On day 12, drive back to Delhi and proceed from there to your hometown.
Apart from the above, you can also take Char Dham from Haridwar.This is usually a six-day tour which follows this route: Haridwar Rishikesh Yamunotri Uttarkashi Gangotri Rudraprayag Kedarnath Karanprayag Nandprayag Vishnuprayag Josimath Badrinath Srinagar Haridwar.
If you are truly interested in the religious and cultural aspect of Hinduism and want to explore the Char Dhams, a visit to these holy shrines could be transformational.